Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Fighting for transgender rights in Latin America

30
JUN
2011

Aids Alliance

On 7 June the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted a resolution on human rights, sexual orientation, and gender identity that reaffirms the commitments of member states made in the previous three resolutions on the issue.

It also instructs the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to undertake studies on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and on the legal implications of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, together with the Inter-American Judicial Committee.

Taking action

The OAS General Assembly met on 5-7 June in El Salvador under the theme of ‘Citizen Security in the Americas’.  As part of the second phase of the Vida Digna project, which is funded by ViiV Healthcare's Positive Action Program for community responses to HIV, Alliance Linking Organisation Asociacion ATLACATL Vivo Positivo (ATLACATL) and the Latin American and Caribbean networks REDTRASEX and REDLACTRANS were on hand to demand an end to hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity and violence against women.

The event was also preceded by the Alliance’s ‘What’s Preventing Prevention?’ campaign’s email action calling on representatives of the Latin America and the Caribbean states to put the OAS commitments into action and investigate the violence, abuse and killings faced by the transgender community and other sexual minorities across the region.

To contribute to the fight for human rights the REDTRASEX, ALTACATL and REDLACTRANS and their partners came together to engage in the following social advocacy activities:

  • A joint statement was published in major national newspapers.
  • Dr Claudia Maria Suarez, Project Manager of Atlacatl met with José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the OAS to discuss implementation of specific strategies to respect the human rights of people in regards to their sexual orientation and identity and to demand that all states ensure their compliance with the signed agreements.
  • As a result of working groups organised during the meeting Atlacatl recommended to the Inter-American Human Rights System the creation of a commission reporter to keep the region informed about resolution and investigations of cases against human rights.
  • On the 6 June a demonstration was held near the hotel where the General Assembly was hosted, bringing together more than 100 people including representatives of REDLACTRANS and REDTRASEX and ATLACATL. The demonstration was organised by Vida Digna partners ICW Capitulo El Salvador (women living with HIV), Orquídeas del Mar (Sex Workers), COMCAVIS TRANS (Trans population living with HIV) and Fraternidad sin Fronteras (Gay people and MSM).
The next steps

Now that OAS have reaffirmed their commitments to human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity it is imperative that its member states keep to their promises and ensure that the rights of sexual minorities are respected, protected and promoted and that gender based hate crimes are properly investigated and perpetrators taken to justice.

Take action now

Visit our ‘What’s Preventing Prevention?’ campaign site to email the representatives of the Latin America and the Caribbean states to OAS and call on them to put their commitments into action.

English language version

Spanish language version

    end hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity and violence against women